Hospital faces fine over unauthorised pill adverts

Hospital faces fine over unauthorised pill adverts

A private hospital in Pathum Thani is in hot water for advertising home isolation packs that included antiviral Favipiravir and Molnupiravir pills without permission, according to the Department of Health Service Support.

Dr Thares Krasanairawiwong, its director-general, yesterday said the department conducted a probe at a hospital in Khlong Luang district as ordered by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul after he heard about the packs being advertised on social media.

The inquiry discovered that the hospital offered various Covid-19 treatment packages for home patients and some included prescription-only Favipiravir and Molnupiravir pills.

The anti-viral pills are designated specially controlled drugs. The government has allocated ample batches of these pills for Covid-19 treatment, which cannot be distributed freely without permission.

Hospitals are required to seek departmental permission to advertise, but the hospital had not done so.

The hospital and individuals at fault were charged with breaching Section 38 of Health Facility Act 1998, which carries a maximum term of one year in jail and/or a fine of up to 20,000 baht with a daily fine of up to 10,000 baht until the ad is suspended.

Dr Thares warned people not buy the advertised pills as they may be fake or substandard and pose a threat to health. He also urged people to contact the department's 1426 hotline or the Food and Drug Administration's 1556 hotline if they see similar ads.

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